Information for Researchers

This page is intended to provide researchers with the information they need to successfully navigate the Human Subjects review process.

In a nutshell, researchers must:

  1. Obtain, and complete, an application for their project’s review by the Psychology Department Human Subjects Committee
  2. Register their studies online in the Psychology research Website ( and turn in their completed applications
  3. Await approval and activation in the Psychology Research Website then schedule and run sessions
  4. Assign credits to participants promptly after each session
  5. Deactivate their project in the Research Website when no more sessions will be run.

Project Categories

Students in the Psychology Department at Sac State who want to do research on human subjects, or who are required to carry out projects as part of a class (e.g., PSYC 102), must have their proposed methods reviewed and approved by the appropriate committee of faculty before recruiting participants and beginning their projects. 

The category a project falls into determines which application form is required. There may be gray areas where student researchers need to inquire further about where to submit their research; in such cases the decision tree shown below may be helpful. You can also contact Dr. Lisa Harrison ( who is currently the Chair of the Psychology Human Subjects Committee to help decide.

There are two broad categories of student projects:

Class Projects

Class projects are those which ONLY purpose fulfill a requirement of a specific course in the Psychology Department (e.g., PSYC 102, PSYC 121, etc.) or as part of independent learning experiement (e.g., PSYC 194, 197, 294, etc.) where the results will NOT be disseminated off of our campus--for example, you are seeking experience and a grade but the results will go no further than that. Projects in this category will NOT be presented or made available in any public forum, so that it will NOT be contributing to the body of scientific knowledge outside of our campus.

Research Projects

Research projects are those carried out with the hope and intent of disseminating (presenting, publishing) the results to the scientific community outside the confines of Sacramento State or they are carried out by a graduate student completing their M.A. thesis using human subjects. Projects in this category are officially considered "research" for the purposes of IRB review, and need to be proposed to the Psychology Research Review Committee (currently headed by Dr. Lisa Harrison, in accordance with the Sacramento State Institutional Review Board procedures.

Decision Tree


Psychology Research Decision Tree

Application for Research

Click on the link below to access the appropriate research application.